Capt. Brian Cournane finished in second place in Saturday’s $70,000 Fidelity Investments Classic at the four-star American Gold Cup meeting in North Salem, New York.

The Irish rider took the lead in the eleven-horse jump-off on the Irish-bred Penelope Cruz with only two riders to follow, but the in-form McLain Ward stole the show when coming home over a second faster on Tradition de la Roque.

It was the second day in a row for Ward to stand between an Irish rider and victory, the American having won last night’s American Gold Cup qualifier ahead of Paul O’Shea and Imerald van’t Voorhof.

American Adrienne Sternlicht finished third in Saturday’s contest on Fantast.

Richie Moloney also went clear in the jump-off on Freestyle de Muze to take sixth place.

Tomorrow the venue hosts the American Gold Cup which is also part of the Longines FEI World Cup series.

Mark Sommer